pH and GH/KH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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pH and GH/KH

So I have spent the past week looking at different posts trying to get some answers to how to lower the hardness and pH. What I have come up with after all the research is this.
Using a RODI system is the best (and maybe only) way to get tds down and to lower GH/KH and pH.

Now, for those of us who can not afford to buy a RODI system, is there any alternative to getting the hardness down and therefore getting the pH down to a level you want it as well?
The pH coming out of my tap is around 8.0 and the GH is about 160 ppm. I also have the usual Ammonia, Chloramine and Phosphates in the water. I know people have said using driftwood and peat will help. I have been using both with no change. I was looking at buying an API water filter http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...fm?pcatid=4484, but after everything I have been reading, I am not sure this will work either.

Any suggestions?
Before you say the fish can adjust to it, I would rather have the fish living comfortably rather than just living (and some of the fish are just withering away despite water parameters checking out aside from pH and GH are too high.)
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:14 AM
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Here's my method. Takes a bit of work to get it setup and find the right balance of water flow and amount of peat to use, but I have it down now and can get my water about 2-3gH, 5.5pH. I then remineralize to get the gH up a bit or mix with tap water depending on what pH/gH I want for my different shrimp tanks.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=175620

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:32 AM
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The other thing you can try is Seachem Acid Buffer. It converts KH into CO2. You need to mix it up before putting it in the tank to prevent PH swings.

Essentially there's two actions taking place:
- Removing of KH
- Adding of CO2 into the water

The KH reduction is permanent, however PH reduction due to CO2 will only last a short time until the CO2 is exchanged with the atmosphere.

However in all honesty, the RO way is the best/cheapest in the long run. You're looking at $100 for a system that will last you a year or more before it needs the materials changed (if you are just using it for your fish tank).

The other way is to purchase the RO water, either from a local fish store, or from one of those automatic machines some supermarkets have.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaPipes View Post
The other thing you can try is Seachem Acid Buffer. It converts KH into CO2. You need to mix it up before putting it in the tank to prevent PH swings.

Essentially there's two actions taking place:
- Removing of KH
- Adding of CO2 into the water

The KH reduction is permanent, however PH reduction due to CO2 will only last a short time until the CO2 is exchanged with the atmosphere.

However in all honesty, the RO way is the best/cheapest in the long run. You're looking at $100 for a system that will last you a year or more before it needs the materials changed (if you are just using it for your fish tank).

The other way is to purchase the RO water, either from a local fish store, or from one of those automatic machines some supermarkets have.
So if I understand what you are saying, adding the buffer it a short term fix and once in the tank, the pH will start rising again?
Also, the cheapest RODI sistem I can find is for a Coralife Pure-Flo II 4 stage system for $150. So the question with that is, does a DI system have any use once you have RO, or is it a waste of money?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 12:45 PM
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Here's what I've been using for years, http://glacierwater.com/. Water comes out under 10 tds.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 01:32 PM
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This is a point which many people miss when they look for drinking water. They buy a tub full of the small bottles thinking they are getting something really special. If they would read the labels, they would often find the bottled water they are buying at such a high price may in fact come out of a faucet somewhere and be much the same as they could get from their own sink. Putting a picture of a spring on the bottle does not change the water at all but it sure does up the sales!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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i know most all bottled water is just tap water with a nice picture on it. Is that the same for the walmart water machines? Or do they actually run it through a RO system?
Is the buffer a temporary fix like ph up and down or is it long term like using a RO system?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefishman84 View Post
i know most all bottled water is just tap water with a nice picture on it. Is that the same for the walmart water machines? Or do they actually run it through a RO system?
Is the buffer a temporary fix like ph up and down or is it long term like using a RO system?
It is likely ro like almost all other water vending machines. The quality is proportional to how often the field tech replaces the membrane. The glacier machine I go to gets replaced weekly.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 06:39 PM
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I have this one , but I use it also for drinking water.

This one is $105, it doesnt have a tank, but you could buy one or buy a barrel and install a float valve.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nalu86 View Post
I have this one , but I use it also for drinking water.

This one is $105, it doesnt have a tank, but you could buy one or buy a barrel and install a float valve.
Do you actually go 1 year before you have to change it, or is that an over estimation?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by thefishman84 View Post
Do you actually go 1 year before you have to change it, or is that an over estimation?
you will know that if you test with your TDS meter.
carbon and sediment filters should be fine for 6months to 2 years.
membrane 3-5 years. DI for 2000liters or 6 months (but you don't need DI for fresh water).
Also If you keep up with flushing the system it will last longer.
Also it depends how much TDS your tap water is before it goes trough the Filter.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 01:45 PM
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That gets back to the old problem of making any kind of firm statement about water that will fit all places. Water if not the simple little thing we think it might be. Even water from two wells a block apart can vary a lot. When asking about what a filter will do on the East coast versus the middle of the country is not really going to fit many times. I worked water treatment in the St. Louis area and we had to test to get a shot at being right. On the East side we might find coal, on the West we often found iron. In the river water it was completely different.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 01:57 PM
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I might just keep fish that enjoyed the hard water.
If tank was not too large,,then buying R/O water ,or distilled water, and mixing this with tap ,might be my choice to lower hardness/pH.
I have moderately hard water from the tap which comes out at a pH of 7.6 to 7.8 12 DGH but over time (month's),,my aquarium's water test at pH of 7.2 with around 10 DGH.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 03:02 PM
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The options listed about cover it.

1) Live with the water you have (keep hard water fish)

2) RO (purchase the bottled RO or a RO unit) and make whatever mix you want to suit the fish

3) DIY method that is probably more expensive than buying and maintaining a RO unit. However, if you want to try some alternatives, look up Solar Still.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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alright all, thanks for all the input.
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